Beretta Primary School

From the moment you drive through the front gate of Beretta Primary School, you know you have entered a special place because of its exquisitely beautiful garden.

The school has won numerous awards for its permaculture gardens, which provide healthy food for the children and medicinal plants to care for minor ailments.

Beretta Primary School has been the venue for Seeds of Light’s permaculture workshops for several years., Here, retired principal, Leanette Sithole, now an employee of our partner, A Spring Of Hope, shares her vast knowledge of permaculture with a wider audience. Three teachers and new principal, Moses Mahlaule, are also permaculture experts and share their abundant knowledge of permaculture principles and medicinal plants with anyone who is keen to learn.

Situated in an extremely impoverished area, the school was started in January 1985 with 313 pupils under a tree and with three educators, including Leanette. Most parents are unemployed or underemployed, earning about R1000 per month (about $90 U.S.), and have many children to care for. The community has an extremely high rate of HIV/AIDS (estimated at least one in three); so consequently there are many orphaned children, approximately 300 of the 900 students.

Seeds of Light partner, A Spring Of Hope, drilled a borehole in 2006 and built a library and clinic there in 2008.